Reservation of hawker’s sites at Jalan Petaling

The DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement (23.3.1969):

The Directors of Anti-Corruption Agency, Inche Harun bin Hashim, has announced the result of this investigations into the matter of the reservation of 15 best hawker’s sites at Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, during the last Chinese New Year.

Firstly, there are various inaccuracies in Inche Harun’s statement. I received a letter from Inche Nik Yusof, Selangor Chief of Anti-Corruption Agency, on Feb. 24 proposing a meeting. I telephoned Inche Nik Yusof immediately on receipt of the letter, the very same day. I was then leaving for outstation, and I said I would get in touch with him when I got back to Kuala Lumpur. I am sure Inche Nik Yusof could confirm this.

Four days later, I phoned Inche Nik Yusof proposing a meeting that very day, but Inche Nik Yusof was busy. We subsequently met on March 12.

But in his statement yesterday, Inche Harun said I got in touch with the Agency only four days after receipt of its letter, and suggested that I was trying to avoid the Agency. Why did Inche Harun resort to such misrepresentations? Has to got something to cover up?

Secondly, Inche Harun said I had dialed to prove my allegation of corruption in connection with this matter. Firstly, I did not make any specific allegation. Secondly, Inche Harun forgets he is Director of Anti-Corruption Agency, and not me. If I have the powers that he is supposed to have, or if he is prepared to allow me to make an independent investigation into this matter, I with anti-corruption staff and officials working under me, may come out with a different result from his investigations.

From Inche Harun’s statement, and from my meeting with Inche Nik Yusof on March 12, I am convinced that the Anti-Corruption Agency has failed again to make an independent and thorough investigation.

When I saw Inche Nik Yusof on March 12, about three weeks after I first sent my letter, the Agency had not interviewed a single member of the Federal Capital Hawkers’ Committee, nor any of the MCA Maju Ward officials, like its chairman, Mr. Lew Sip Hon, who were responsible for arranging the allocation of the sites.

The Agency also did not interview any of the hawkers, especially those who could not get sites because the pitches were reserved from balloting.

On the contrary, we find Inche Harun defending the reservation of hawker pitches from open balloting, because it was in practice since 1951. I will like to ask Inche Harun whether a corrupt or irregular practice being in existence for 18 years makes it any less corrupt or irregular?

If this year, the powers that be can reserve 15 pitches, next year, the powers that be can reserve 30 pitches or 50 pitches from open balloting!

Inche Harun said the reserved pitches were for certain shops in Jalan Petaling to “protect their legitimate business.” But what about the spaces outside shop-houses which sell books, or perfumes?

How are these spaces allocated?

I have nothing personally against Inche Harun in Hashim. But it is clear from this case, and from the case of Metalex, where Inche Harun announced tithing an hour of my press conference without making an independent and thorough investigation that the allegation that Inche Khaw Khai Boh was a director of a private firm at the same time he was a Cabinet Minister, that the Anti-Corruption Agency has no power whatsoever to make independent investigations into cases affecting Alliance leaders.

In other words, the Anti-corruption Agency is nothing more than a eye-wash, a gross deception by the Alliance to mislead the people into believing that corrupt practices are being checked and stamped out.

For Inche Harun’s own good, he should resign from the position of Director of Anti-Corruption Agency, because everybody now can see that he cannot direct anti-corruption operations.